GokyoRi Trek Day 02: From Lukla to Phakding

30 Dec

Our actual GokyoRi Trek started on second day, after we reached Lukla from Kathmandu by flight. Then we are set off for the first day of our trek to Phakding.

We are set to reach Kathmandu airport by 6am for an early departure to Lukla. So we are ready to start at the hotel lobby by 5:00am, with coffee and packed breakfast in our hands. There was a bit of reshuffling of the luggage and some part of our luggage is kept with concierge of the hotel to pickup during our return trip.

Being a first timer, I had to make an educated (based on suggestions from group members and based on my own personal choices of gear) guess on what I can leave behind in Kathmandu. I got almost everything right, but I went wrong with one rain protection gear. More details in a relevant post later.

The checkin at Khatmandu is very fast, given that there are hardly many travellers. Our group of trekkers are split into two small planes.

The crammed plane and noisy flight initially looked unmanageable, but the views of the cliffs and valleys down below offered an amazing experience and by the time our flight came to end, we still wanted for more of those mesmerising arial views.

Landing at Lukla airport is one unforgettable experience. The short runway looked so scary, but I reassured myself that landing here is just another daily affair for these experienced pilots. This thought process made the landing a thrilling experience rather than a scary one. The approach descent (or lack of one) to the airport, the fast arriving landing strip and the shortest run on the runway after touchdown – all these pass by within a blink, but leave a long lasting impression.

Once we landed, we gathered at a nearby teahouse. While enjoying the warm tea, I sought guidance from fellow experienced trekkers to make my gear ready: What to pack in backpack, filling my hydration pack (for the first time) and adjusting my sticks to proper length.

While we waited for some of our luggage that came on the next flight, I did my first sorting of carry-on versus porter/yak carried luggage. In retrospection, I got almost everything wrong but I learnt this art fast enough – within a day or two.

The wait also helped us click a few pictures with an amazing backdrop of that colourful village, tall mountains and blue skies.

We started our trek which is primarily a good descent to start with. The day is super sunny and the breeze is comfortable. Berry picking (and eating) on the way is a good pastime.

After a brief lunch break and rest at Wind Horse Lodge & Restaurant, we continued our trek towards Phakding. The following video is our pre-lunch trek map.

We encountered our first of these iconic suspension footbridges on our way to Phakding. During the coming days, these suspension bridges have become very common while we crisscrossed over the valleys to reach from one mountain to the other. Most bridges either have deep valleys or rushing waters of Doodhkoshi river beneath, offering soothing breezes and mesmerising views.

By late afternoon, we reached Mountain Lodges of Nepal at Phakding, our overnight stay. The wooden cabins at this place are amazing. The restaurant overseeing Doodhkhoshi is elegant and the service is extraordinary. After a few stretches and a brief shower, we circled back at the restaurant and spent long hours of tea time. This is followed by a well served dinner.

The day went well, but not without any hiccups. The first thing is that I am overdressed for the weather, wearing thicker outfits (and more layers) than needed for the weather. That made me sweat quite a bit and lose lot of body fluids and salts.

The second key thing is my landing of feet while we descend. By the end of the day, my ankles and calf muscles are too tired due to harsh landing on steps. I experienced mild cramps for a few minutes in the evening, mended by drinking good amount of water and local ginger/lemon tea. These cramps helped me refine my hydration strategy for the rest of the trip (make full use of the hydration pack) and adjust my landing while descending.

Here is the video of the post-lunch part of the day’s trek.

It is a well begun and well done day to the multi-day trek.

GokyoRi Trek Day 01: Reaching Kathmandu

25 Sep

Our GokyoRi Trek started with our Day 01 flights to Kathmandu. From Hyderabad, we took a two hop travel via Mumbai to reach Kathmandu by late afternoon on 02nd September.


Looking back at our 200,000+ steps of trekking, this ramp down on escalators at airline departure gates feels like an interesting start.

Despite all the morning rush at the airport, our flight to Mumbai was pretty smooth and uneventful. Immigration related queues during the second leg of travel were very smooth too. Once we came out of Kathmandu airport, our tour guide sherpa team welcomed us with these nice scarfs and guided us to the bus to our hotel.

In about an hour from that time, we settled back in our rooms at Radisson Kathmandu


One of the biggest challenges of early morning flights for me is to pick a breakfast location. Breakfast at home by 4am is not convenient, breakfast before boarding is too rushy and breakfast during flight is not so encouraging. So we decided to take our brunch during transit at Mumbai airport. Using a wide range of a la carte choices of food and mostly unoccupied food court, we killed the transit time with ease.

With the kind of foodie group we are, there is no dearth of food/snacks, even while flying at an altitude of few tens of thousand feet.

Our dinner is at Thamel area at this well known pizzeria. We liked the food taste and ambience. This place is recommended by our repeat trekkers of the group and it kept its reputation in tact.


A multi-week trek requires good amount of shopping that mainly consists of procuring the right gear. Being a first-timer, I spend ample time on gathering the gear for my travel.

Despite all the preparation, there are still a handful of things that are left to buy at Kathmandu. Primarily because I wanted some expert advice on choosing the right level of the gear.

Based on my conversations with seasoned trekkers in the group, my shopping list to buy at Kathmandu is reduced to one single item: hiking poles. At Thamel area of Kathmandu, we did some window shopping while most team members procured necessary gear for the rest of the trip.

Most of us also bought local SIM cards after producing necessary paperwork, so that we have network connectivity as long as there is cell tower coverage. I intentionally didn’t enable roaming on my India phone, leaving my family with ample connectivity methods to reach out to me and cutting off the rest of the world for these few days.

After dinner and shopping, I decided to walk back 2km to hotel, just to stretch my legs on this relatively inactive day. Thanks to Sunitha for joining me during this walk. We waded our way thru fast moving yet rule following late evening traffic of Kathmandu with ease.

Our GokyoRi Trek Summary: September 2023

24 Sep

Trekking for me has been a short time affair, either trekking Angel Island near San Francisco or scaling the 600 meter Mission Peak (read here, here, here and here) in Fremont, USA. These treks always started with a comfort and ended with a comfortable car ride and home stay right after. This year, the notion of trekking has changed for me. For the first time in my life, I ventured into a multi-day GokyoRi Trek spawning over a couple of weeks. Lucky to be part of a fifteen people group that has a large number of experienced trekkers and a few novice people like me.

Preparations started as early as May 2023 and we started training for the trek. Trek training was a side stint to me, given that I was training for a Marathon that I ran less than a week before the start of the trek. However, a conscious focus on breathing, leg strength and endurance during the Marathon training really helped make the GokyoRi trek manageable.

The GokyoRi Trek trip started on 02nd September with a multi-hop flight from Hyderabad to Kathmandu.

The real trek started a day later from Lukla airport, one of the most dangerous airstrips given its location, elevation and length.

About ten days later, we are back in Lukla, having trekked for eleven days including acclimatisation stays on the way.

Those ten days made me to bond with the group members as a family, exposed my body to different weather conditions, fed my tummy with various themes of food, strained my legs in a happy way, made my mind understand the cultural and social elements of humans around us, and served my heart with breathtaking views of Himalayas. There are some painful moments as well, like missing out the last leg of the trek atop GokyoRi after reaching Gokyo Village, due to rainy weather.

In the next few posts to come, I am going to give the salient details of our journey. Stay tuned.

Cricket World Cup 2019 Standings

23 Jun

Now that we have two-thirds of the league matches (30 out of 45) of Cricket World Cup 2019 completed, interesting patterns emerge for the teams. Here are the standings of the teams as of today.

Cricket world cup 2019 standings at the end of 30 league matches.
  • New Zealand and Australia are relatively well placed and can enter semifinals with one win or with a no-result or two forced by rain.
  • India are also well positioned, needing a couple of wins from four matches (or one win and few other scenarios for other teams). Given that they are yet to play with two teams that are below them in the points table as of today, they should have no issue sailing thru to semifinals.
  • England are in an interesting situation. They have to play three more league matches. All these three matches are with teams that are leading ahead of them in the points table. If they manage to win only one of those three matches, then their situation becomes tricky. Points won by other teams might play a vital role in deciding their semi-final berth. In such a situation, their Net Run Rate which is the best in the table so far should come handy.
  • Sri Lanka bounced back well in their last match. Two more wins would put them in a good position. Winning all three remaining matches would get them a berth.
  • Bangladesh showed one of the best spirits in the tournament so far. They also need three wins to get to final four.
  • Pakistan did very well against South Africa and England so far. They could put themselves in the last four if they win all the three remaining matches. If they repeat the 1992-ish feat, then we may as well see a IND vs PAK semi-final or final.
  • West Indies need to win all the three matches and pray that no other team gets to 9 points. That might be next to impossible.
  • South Africa and Afghanistan are already out of the race. But they might impact the prospects of other teams in the next couple of weeks.

I am personally wishing for an IND vs ENG or IND vs NZ final.

కొత్త కథ 2017

Kotta Katha 2017
04 May

అక్కిరాజు భట్టిప్రోలు – తొంభయ్యవ దశకంలో సెంట్రల్ యూనివర్సిటీ రోజుల్నుండీ పరిచయం, అటుతర్వాతి అమెరికా రోజుల్లో తనతో మంచి స్నేహం. తను కుప్పిలి పద్మ గారితో కలిసి సంకలనం చేసిన “కొత్త à°•à°¥ 2017” చదివాను. చదివాను అనడం కంటే, ఏకబిగిన చదివాను అనడం కరెక్టు. కొత్త à°•à°¥ 2017 లోని కథల గురించి, నా అభిప్రాయం:

బ్రదర్ ఆఫ్ బంగారి – అక్కిరాజు భట్టిప్రోలు: సమకాలీన యువతుల ఆలోచనారీతిని కళ్ళకు కట్టినట్టుగా చూపించే à°•à°¥. లక్ష్మి పాత్ర ద్వారా Good Decision, Bad Execution అన్నదాన్ని సోదాహరణంగా చెప్పినట్లుగా నాకనిపించింది.

మెలకువ ముందు à°•à°² – అరిపిరాల సత్య ప్రసాద్: రియలిజానికీ, సర్రియలిజానికీ మధ్యగా నడుస్తూ పోయిన à°•à°¥. ఎర్రదనం, మట్టి సింబాలిగ్గా కలసిన కలలాంటి à°•à°¥.

à°’à°• జీవితం… రెండు కలలు… – ఆకునూరి హాసన్: ప్రేమంటే సున్నితత్వమా లేదా భయపెట్టేంతలా వెల్లువెత్తే భావావేశమా అని ఆలోచింపచేసే à°•à°¥. రూప నుండి రజనీగంధ వరకూ వ్యర్ధమయిన రెండు దశాబ్దాల్లో అతను సున్నితత్వమంటే ఏమిటో తెలుసుకున్నాడని నాకనిపించింది – అతను పాప పక్కన కూర్చున్నప్పుడు.

నల్లగాలి – భగవంతం: à°’à°• మామూలు దినచర్య సందర్భానుసారంగా ఎలాంటి అనుభూతుల్ని కలిగిస్తుందో చెప్పే à°•à°¥. à°•à°¥ ఆఖర్లో అతడు బైక్ మీద కాక ఆటోలోనో కాబ్‌లోనో వెళ్ళుంటే ఇంకా బాగుండుననిపించింది.

ఇద్దరు మంచివాళ్ళ అడల్ట్ à°•à°¥ – జి. ఎస్. రామ్మోహన్: పాతికేళ్ళనుండి సాఫ్ట్‌వేర్ ఫీల్డులో ఉన్నా కొంచెం మింగుడుపడని (read మోడర్న్) సందర్భాల à°•à°¥. సుధాకర్ని చూసి గొంగళిలో అన్నం తింటూ వెంట్రుకలేరుతున్నాడేమిటిరా అనిపించిన à°•à°¥.

ఛోటి – హనీఫ్: చూపుడు వేలుకింద బొటనవేలుని పెట్టి బొటనవేలుని పైకెగరేసిన అమ్మని అర్ధం చేసుకోలేని అమ్మ à°•à°¥ మనసుని కొంచెం మెలిపెట్టింది.

ఫ్రెనర్ లా విదా – కొల్లూరి సోమశేఖర్: మెటీరియలిస్టిక్ పనుల మొగుడికి, ఈస్థటిక్ భావాల పెళ్ళానికీ మధ్య నిలిచిన సాక్షి చెప్పిన మనసు à°•à°¥.

వాటర్ ఫ్రంట్ – కుప్పిలి పద్మ: ఐడియాలజీయా, ప్రాక్టికాలిటీయా అన్న ప్రశ్న వచ్చినప్పుడు? మనం ఏది ఫాలో అవుదాం, మన పక్కోడు ఏది ఫాలో అయితే బాగుంటుంది అన్న మీమాంస వచ్చినప్పుడు? పొలిటికల్ కరెక్ట్‌నెస్ ప్రాముఖ్యతను గురించి ఆలోచింపచేసిన à°•à°¥.

వెలుతురు నీడలు – కాకుమాని శ్రీనివాసరావు: హిస్టరీ రిపీట్స్ అనిపించిన à°•à°¥. ఆతడి ఫాసినేషన్ కేవలం à°† వస్త్రధారణ పైనేనా అనికూడా అనిపించింది.

క్రీ.పూ-క్రీ.à°¶. – కోడూరి విజయ కుమార్: రాచరికపుకాలంనాటి కథతో వర్తమానకాలంలోని పరిస్థితులపై సునిశిత వ్యంగ్యాస్త్రం. కాకుల సంభాషణ పెదాలపై చిరునవ్వు తెప్పించింది.

తోలుబొమ్మలాట – కూనపరాజు కుమార్: మారుతున్న సామాజిక అలవాట్ల నైపధ్యంలో అంతరించిపోతున్న కళల, అలమటించిపోతున్న కళాకారుల à°•à°¥. మనలోని నిస్సహాయతను నిశ్శబ్దంగా నిలదీసే à°•à°¥.

చున్నీ – కె. వి. కరుణకుమార్: మనచుట్టూ జరుగుతున్న సంఘటనలతో మనసును మెలితిప్పిన à°•à°¥. అవును కదూ అనిపిస్తుంది.

పెన్సిల్ బాక్స్ – మహమ్మద్ ఖదీర్ బాబు: à°’à°• చిన్న సంఘటన కొన్ని జీవితాల్ని ఇంతలా మార్చేస్తుందా అనిపించే à°•à°¥. విశ్వనాథ్ గారు తీసిన ఆపద్భాంధవుడు గుర్తొచ్చింది.

కృష్ణ శోధ – మోహిత: భావుకత ఎక్కువగా ఉన్న చక్కని పద్యకావ్యంలో à°•à°¥ à°† వృక్షాల్లోనూ, పొదల్లోనూ, లతల్లోనూ గిరికీలు కొడుతూ ఉండిపోయింది. వారాలపై ప్రయోగాలు బావున్నాయి – శనివారాలకే ఏదో తేడాకొట్టింది రెండుసార్లూ.

à°¦ డెడ్ మాన్ ఈజ్ గోయింగ్ టు సింగ్ – మహి బెజవాడ: ముగ్గురి జీవితాల్లోని నాలుగో మనిషి జీవితపు కాలిన కలలు. ముగ్గురికీ మూడు రకాలుగా కనిపించిన మనిషిలోని అంతర్గత శూన్యపు ఆఖరి అడుగు à°ˆ à°•à°¥.

సున్నాలు – మెర్సీ మార్గరెట్: కహానీ-2 సినిమా చూడకపోవటం వల్లనేమో, à°† వెన్నాడుతున్న సున్నాల గురించి అర్ధం కాలేదు. చైల్ద్ అబ్యూస్ పైన à°’à°• నిజాయితీ అయిన à°•à°¥.

మట్టి గోడలు – నాగేంద్ర కాశీ: భూసేకరణ బాధితుల జీవితాల్లోని చీకటి కోణాల à°•à°¥. మట్టిని ప్రేమించేవాడి మనస్తత్వాని గురించి బాగా రాసారు.

శ్రీమతి సర్టిఫికేట్ – పూడూరి రాజిరెడ్డి: కామాలే తప్ప ఫుల్లుస్టాపుల్లేని ఒకానొక ఉదయపు బిజీ జీవితంలోంచి ఊడిపడ్డ చురుక్కు హాస్యం. గది à°Žà°‚à°¤ పెద్దదో ఊడ్చినప్పుడే తెలుస్తుందనేలా…

వికృతి – రాధిక: అడాలిసెంట్ వయసులోని మనసు పోకడల చిత్రీకరణ. బాహ్య సౌందర్యానికీ అంతర్గత సౌందర్యానికీ సంబంధం లేదని తెలుసుకున్న మనిషి మనసు à°•à°¥ యిది.

UNKNOWN – సురేష్: భయానక, భీభత్స రసప్రధానంగా సాగిన థ్రిల్లర్. పాత్రలన్నీ మనకు తెలిసిన unknown లే అవటంవల్ల సంభాషణలు ఫాలో అవడానికి కొంచెం కష్టపడాలి.

కొన్న తల్లి – సింహాద్రి నాగశిరీష: చీకటి బతుకుల్లోని గొలుసుకట్టును ఎవరో ఒకరు తెంపినప్పుడు వచ్చిన వెలుగు రేఖ.

స్కూపీ – శాంతిశ్రీ: భావోద్వేగాలను శోషించే దారులు మూసుకుపోయిన చిన్నారి ఆక్రోశానికి ముగింపు ఏమిటి. చిన్ని కుటుంబాల్లోని మానసిక కల్లోలాలని చూపించిన à°•à°¥.

à°“ హెన్రీ స్టోరీ – వెంకట్ సిద్దార్థ: మన కళ్ళెదురుగా మూగప్రేమలను చూడటం à°† ప్రేమించడం కన్నా కష్టమేమో అనిపించే à°•à°¥.

చివరాఖరి ముచ్చట్లు - కొత్తకథ 2017 లో నాకు నచ్చిన వాక్యాలలో కొన్ని:

  • బ్రదర్ ఆఫ్ బంగారి – “రాత్రి సంసారానికి ఆనవాళ్ళు లేవని నమ్మకం కలిగాక”
  • à°’à°• జీవితం… రెండు కలలు… – “కళ్ళతో నవ్విన రజనీగంధని పెదవులతో నవ్వి పలకరించి”
  • చున్నీ – “శరీరానికి ముఖం ఉంటేనే మచ్చ”, “అందుకే ఆమె చున్నీని రీఇన్వెంట్ చేసింది”
  • కృష్ణ శోధ – “ఆలస్యమయితేనేం, అమృతం అయినప్పుడు”
  • మట్టి గోడలు – “à°“ పక్షం రోజులు అల్లరైనా గానీ ప్రజాస్వామ్యమే గెలిచింది. ప్రజలు ఓడిపోయారు”

మొత్తమ్మీద కొత్తకథ – 2017 à°’à°• మంచి కథాసంకలనం. మనం కొనడానికి వెచ్చించిన మూల్యానికీ, చదవడానికి వెచ్చించిన సమయానికీ కూడా న్యాయం జరుగుతుంది.

కొసమెరుపు: కొత్తకథ-2017 లోని కుప్పిలి పద్మగారి వాటర్ ఫ్రంట్ కథకు ఒకటో అధ్యాయమే ఉంది, రెండవది లేదు. అప్పటికే పదిహేడు పేజీల కథ అయింది. బాహుబలి సినిమాను విభజించిన ప్రేరణతో రెండో అధ్యాయం కొత్తకథ-2018 లో రాస్తారేమో.

Bahubali and The Lion King Resemblance

Pride Ride
26 Apr

There are very few stories. It is the storytelling that counts.

The above statement is very true for movies. I have been a big fan of Disney’s The Lion King. The storyline of Bahubali has a strong resemblance to that of The Lion King, even though the storytelling takes a completely different route and takes gigantic proportions.

Lion King
The Good King Amarendra Bahubali is the good king that is refused the throne and eventually gets killed King Mufasa is the good king that gets killed
The Bad Brother It is the King’s antagonist brother Bhallaladeva that masterminds the killing of Amarendra Bahubali It is the King’s antagonist brother Scar that plans the killing of Mufasa
The Captive Queen Devasena is held captive in Maahishmati by Bhallaladeva Sarabi is forced to hunt for Scar and the hyenas, resembling slavery
The Kingdom Maahishmati: People are sick and tired of Bhallaladeva’s cruel rule The Pride Lands: The herds and packs are starving and shrinking under Scar’s inept and cruel rule
The Far Away Prince Mahendra Bahubali grows up in a remote place without realizing that he is the prince of Maahishmati Kingdom Simba runs away and grows up in a remote place without acknowledging his princehood
Prince Returns for Love Interest Mahendra Bahubali searches for his eventual love interest Avanthika and returns to Maahishmati to fulfill her task of freeing Devasena Simba meets his friend and eventual love interest Nala and that leads to his return to the Pride Lands and freeing of Sarabi
The Lookalikes Mahendra Bahubali’s resemblance to Amarendra Bahubali is the key factor in the story that leads to many scenes with Bhallaladeva, Devasena and Kattappa (in the first part itself.) His resemblance brings cheers to many in the kingdom and fear to the antagonists Simba’s resemblance to Mufasa and the former’s realization of the same is the key turning point of the story. His resemblance scares Scar and brings joy to Sarabi and rest of the pride rock
The Exploring Mahendra Bahubali, as a kid, wants to explore what is on the other side of the high mountains. He does several unsuccessful attempts as a kid to explore beyond the mountains. Once he becomes successful doing so as an adult, the story takes a new turn Simba’s exploratory interests are the key part of the story and his attempts end him up in big trouble. That forms the crux of the storyline and his run away from the kingdom
The Trustworthy Kattappa, the trustworthy general and trainer that has bald head and large white beard. Discloses the identity of Mahendra Bahubali to the later and gives him an account of his own past. Rafiki, the trustworthy shaman and advisor who has bald head and large white beard. Makes Simba realize who he really is and what his responsibilities are.
The Pride
Pride Ride
Pride Ride
Pride Rock
Pride Rock
Announcing the Prince
Announce Bahubali
Mahendra Bahubali
Announce Simba

Does that make you think that the storyline of Bahubali is lifted from The Lion King? You are very much wrong if you do so. There are several Telugu movies that follow similar lines (Jayam Manadera to Aadi to Indra) where the protagonist lives elsewhere without taking up his true identity and eventually comes back to claim his throne or leadership position. In fact, the faction movie series of Telugu Film Industry have considerable resemblances to The Lion King at some point or other. So are some of the early folk movies of Indian Film Industry. For that matter, all these movies have some resemblance to William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which Prince Hamlet is true heir of King Hamlet but King Claudius takes the throne.

Then why this post? I strongly believe that the storyline of the movie is of lesser importance when there is good storytelling. On the eve of the release of Bahubali – The Conclusion, I am looking forward to watch a very good storytelling. I care less for the story that I already know of from several other movies.

Driverless Cars: Moral and Legal Considerations

09 Aug

Driverless cars are no longer a fantasy. Despite being far from general purpose use, this technology is evolving leaps and bounds, thanks to players like Google and Tesla making steady progress on this technology. As the technology evolves and enters into public life, several legal and moral issues are going to crop up.

The recent issue of Communications of the ACM carries a nice article describing the moral challenges of driverless cars. In this thought provoking article, the author brings up scenarios that bring up ethical and moral questions. To quote from the article,

However, should an unavoidable crash situation arise, a driverless car’s method of seeing and identifying potential objects or hazards is different and less precise than the human eye-brain connection, which likely will introduce moral dilemmas with respect to how an autonomous vehicle should react …

Driverless cars have potential to fare better than humans in 90% (or better) of the times. But the other small percentage of times usually bring in more ethical and legal dilemmas where humans would fare vast better than the technologies used in driverless cars. In these situations, human drivers are usually faced with multiple choices that vary in terms of amount of impact or destruction to property or humans. The senors and algorithms used in driverless cars (as they stand for the next few years) may have limitations in identifying the course that leads to least impact or least destruction. When the system operating a driverless car takes a non-optimum decision, there could be several legal and ethical ramifications.

As discussed in the above mentioned article, handing over control to a human driver in emergency situations is far from reality, given the response times needed by a disengaged human. Even the automation around a fully engaged driver’s action is being subjected to several legal questions around responsibility. For example, this article on WSJ discusses how Tesla’s autonomous car-passing feature intends to pass on the responsibility to the driver, by making it a driver initiated (e.g. turn on the signal) automation. Given that the same action of the driver in a car with and without these autonomous features results in drastically different ramifications, states like CA, NV and FL are mandating special registrations for drivers of autonomous vehicles. The registration is based on the level of autonomous features of the vehicle.

Beyond the responsibility question that touches the legal aspects, driverless cars technology needs to continually improve upon the ethical questions that come up during an emergency situation. For example, is it okay to crash the car in the next line to avoid a bicyclist who is jumping a pedestrian signal?

Then comes the integrity question around the autonomous features. What is the possibility of these features getting tampered or outdated? Is Tesla’s Over-the-air update going to be a typical standard for automakers across the globe?

In a nutshell, the legal aspects of driverless cars can be best handled by training the drivers for those specific features. However, the ethical aspects require more maturity of the technology. Add the complexity of changes in driving rules across multiple geographic regions (states, countries) and we are going to see a lot of technology evolution in this space.

Here are a few lingering thoughts that I have regarding driverless cars. I am more anxious to find the answers sooner.

  • What happens if the road sign standards change across borders? E.g. colors and sizes of signs across states, speed limits posted in miles vs. kms across countries. We may soon see a few settings on your dashboard to let the car know (or confirm) that you are driving in New Jersey or Maine or Canada.
  • Cars may be certified to run autonomously in certain areas only. Like “This car can use the autonomous features in CA and NV only, but not in AZ.”
  • Cars would be able to identify the speed limit on a signpost and ignore a similar looking sign on a billboard next to a freeway. Do they do it by improving their sensors or depend on a networked repository (say Google Maps) of speed limits in that area.
  • Visual congestion identification and taking alternate routes. Pretty simple given the current advances in maps technology.
  • In situations where disengaged drivers don’t have awareness of circumstances that led to an accident, cars may require legally acceptable sensor information logs. In other words, the cars would have scaled down versions of blackboxes like in aircrafts.
  • What if someone hacks the “car stack”? How does one get to know? Do we get to do a periodic (smog-check like) stack-check and certification? If this looks like a fantasy, please checkout the Tesla hack and fix a couple of days ago.

And here is an extreme one:

  • If it turns out that the damages caused in an accident by an autonomous car with a disengaged driver are much higher than the damages if an engaged driver were operating the car without autonomous features, what are the insurance ramifications? Would insurance companies track maturity levels of the autonomous features and charge accordingly for insurance?

I do live in interesting times.

చికెను వింగ్సూ, అల్లప్పచ్చడి

21 Apr

అల్లప్పచ్చడి (అల్లం పచ్చడి) వాడకంలో నేను అసలు సిసలు తెలుగు వాడిని. అల్లప్పచ్చడి అంటే హోటళ్ళలొ తెల్ల చట్నీతో పాటు ఇచ్చే ఎర్ర చట్నీ అనుకునేరు. నేను చెప్పేది మామూలుగా మనం సంవత్సరానికోసారి పట్టుకునే అల్లప్పచ్చడి గురించి. ఆ గట్టి అల్లప్పచ్చడిలో కొద్దిగా మంచినీళ్ళు గానీ, పెరుగు గానీ కలిపి ఎలాంటి ఫలహారాల్లోనయినా నంజుకుని తినే విషయంలో నేను అసలు సిసలు తెలుగువాడినన్నమాట. మనలో మనమాట, ఇడ్లీల్లోనూ దోశల్లోనూ అల్లప్పచ్చడి భేషుగ్గా ఉంటుంది. పెసరట్టు ఉప్మాలో అయితే మరీ భేషుగ్గా ఉంటుంది. శ్రీకృష్ణదేవరాయల పక్కన తెనాలి రామలింగడు ఉన్నప్పటి మజానే పెసరట్టు ఉప్మా పక్కన అల్లప్పచ్చడి ఉన్నప్పుడు వస్తుందన్నది నా ప్రగాఢ విశ్వాసం.

గతవారంలో ఒకరోజు సాయంత్రం అత్యవసర పనులన్నీ చక్కబెట్టుకుని (ఆఫీసు మెయిల్సు, స్వంత మెయిల్సు, ఫేసుబుక్కూ, ట్విట్టరూ వగయిరాలు చక్కబెట్టుకుని అన్నమాట) కొంచెం ఫలహారం తినే పనిలో పడ్డాను. ఎదురుగా మాంచి పసందుగా క్రిస్పీ చికెను వింగ్సు కనిపించాయి. వాటితోపాటు నంజుకోవటానికి సహజ సిద్దమయిన బార్బీక్యూ సాసు కూడా ఉంది. కానీ తిండి విషయంలో ప్రయోగాలు చెయ్యకపోతే మనం మనమెందుకవుతాము. అటూ ఇటూ చూసి ఎదురుగా కనపడ్డ అల్లప్పచ్చడిని మనదయిన రీతిలో పలచగా (ఇంచుమించుగా బార్బీక్యూ సాసులా కనపడేలా) కలిపాను. సోఫాలో చేరగిలబడి కాళ్ళు టేబులుపై పెట్టుకుని టీవీ చూస్తూ ఫలహారానికి ఉపక్రమించాను. అల్లప్పచ్చడిలో à°’à°• చికెను వింగుని బాగా తిప్పి నోట్లో పెట్టుకోగానే అప్రయత్నంగా “మహాప్రభో” అనిపించింది.

à°ˆ “మహాప్రభో” వెనుక à°’à°• విషయం ఉంది. శుభసంకల్పం సినిమాలో రాయుడు పాత్ర వేసిన కళాతపస్వి విశ్వనాధ్ గారు à°’à°• సన్నివేశంలో దాసు (కమల హాసన్) చేసిన చేపల పులుసు రుచి గురించి చెబుతూ “మహాప్రభో” అంటాడు. à°† సినిమా చూసినప్పటినుండీ ఏ తిండి పదార్ధం చాలా బాగున్నా నాకు మహాప్రభో అనిపిస్తుంది.

అలా మహాప్రభో అనిపింపచేసిన చికెను వింగ్సూ అల్లప్పచ్చడి కాంబినేషను ఫలహారం క్షణాల్లో ఖాళీ అయిపోయిందని వేరే చెప్పక్కర్లేదనుకుంటాను. మీకుగనక ఇలాంటి ప్రయోగాలు ఇష్టమయితే మీరు కూడా ప్రయత్నించండి.

Chayakriti 2014

07 Jul

The annual photo exhibition of Twin Cities Photography Club (http://www.tcpc.co.in and https://facebook.com/groups/tcpc.hyd ) is currently being held at Muse Art Gallery, Marriott Hotel and Convention Center (some people remember this place as Viceroy Hotel.)


This exhibition displays 60+ selected works from members of Twin Cities Photography Club. The last date for the exhibition is 11th July (Friday.)  If you haven’t already, please visit the exhibition and enjoy the pictures.

Furthermore, if you are interested in photography, please join Twin Cities Photography Club at the link mentioned above and attend the regular meetups. The meetups are on specific topics and is a great opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with other members.